Questions asked and questions answered at Zurich 2015


Christiane Fuerst has become the only player to have won three gold medals at the FIVB Club World Championships.

Zurich, Switzerland, May 11, 2015 – Just about a week ago, at the start of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship we posed Questions Awaiting Answers at Zurich 2015. Here we are, a week later, with a brand new world champion, ready with the answers:

- Can Dinamo Krasnodar keep the title in Russia?
No. Following a poor start in pool play, Dinamo Krasnodar played a brilliant semifinal to eliminate Rexona-AdeS Rio de Janeiro. But the Russian team, who were aiming at keeping the trophy in Russia after last year’s success by Dinamo Kazan, fell in the final to Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul 3-1.

- Can Istanbul tie with Sao Paulo as the most prolific city?
Yes. Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul is the third team from that city to claim gold at an FIVB Club World Championship. Fenerbahce did it in 2010 and VakifBank followed in 2013. Istanbul is now tied with greater Sao Paulo, who have Sadia (1991), Leite Moca Sorocaba (1994) and Sollys Nestle Osasco (2012) in the winner's circle.

- Will it be third-time lucky for hosts Volero Zurich?
Absolutely! The Swiss team had a history of narrow misses, including two previous attempts at a spot on the podium of the FIVB Club World Championships. In 2013 Volero lost their bronze medal match to China’s Guangdong Evergrande in four sets and in 2014 the home team fell to Brazil’s SESI Sao Paulo in five. But this year they thrashed  Rexona-AdeS Rio de Janeiro 3-0 in the bronze medal match to obtain their first appearance on the podium.

- Or will it be third-time lucky for Mirador Santo Domingo?

No. At the start of Zurich 2015 the Dominican side were in exactly the same position as Volero. They’d been to the bronze medal match twice in as many appearances and they’d lost both times: In 2010 to Italy’s Foppapedretti Bergamo in four sets and the very next year to Brazil’s Sollys Nestle Osasco in straight sets. This year they were making their third attempt at a medal, but they dropped both their matches in pool play to rank fifth in the tournament.

- Can Japan’s Hisamitsu Springs claim Asia’s second ever medal?
No. It took 22 years since the inaugural event until an Asian team won a medal at an FIVB Women’s Club World Championship. That happened in 2013 in Zurich, when China’s Guangdong Evrgrande beat hosts Volero 3-1 in the bronze medal match. This year it was Japan’s Hisamitsu Springs Kobe, the reigning Asian champions and fifth in last year’s World Championship, who were seeking to return Asia to the podium. And they came to within a set of qualifying to the medal round of Zurich 2015. They opened their campaign with an amazing victory over eventual winners Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, but still needed two sets against Dinamo Krasnodar. They won the first, but then succumbed 3-1 to finish fifth again.

- Can Christiane Fuerst win a record third gold?
Indeed she can! The German middle blocker has been club hopping around Istanbul since 2010, and has been picking up Club World Championship gold medals everywhere she’s been: with Fenerbahce in 2010 in Doha and with VakifBank in 2013 in Zurich. Now she’s added a record third with Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul.

- Will Keba Phipps’ record of 99 points fall, after 21 years?
Not quite. The American outside hitter scored 99 points + sideouts (or 24.75 per match) at the 1994 edition of the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in Osasco, Brazil, playing for Italy’s silver-medal-winning Parmalat Matera. But Ukrainian opposite of Volero Zurich OlesiaRykhliuk scored an incredible 93 points to shatter the record under the rally point scoring system. That stood at 85, held by Russia’s Ekaterina Gamova for Dinamo Kazan from 2014.

- Will Sunday’s final break the straight-set pattern?

It did, but only just. Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul blew two match balls at 24-22 in the third, as Dinamo Krasnodar came back to force a fourth, on an attack by Tatiana Kosheleva (24-23), a block by Marina Maryukhnich on Gozde Yilmaz (24-24), a wide attack by Maja Poljak (24-25) and an attack by Rosir Kalderon (24-26). All eight previous finals, ever since 1991, had ended in three sets.


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